Interim NIOSH Training for Emergency Responders: Reducing Risks Associated with Long Work Hours

Gain Understanding from the Important People in your Personal Life
a group of people having a discussion

While deployed, time zone changes and long, extended work hours can reduce the time you have available to communicate with the important people in your life. In many cases, the concerns by your family about your well-being or visa versa can cause stress and worry. Over time, this could damage personal relationships. Here are some suggestions to remain connected during deployment.

  • Set realistic expectations. Inform your family and friends that communication may be limited and sporadic.
  • If possible, periodically inform your family/friends and your supervisor of your well-being. This could be done by calling or emailing if feasible during your shift.
  • If possible, try not to schedule phone calls or email sessions that would disrupt your time for sleep.
  • Remind your family and friends that in some cases, no news is good news. Your supervisor will contact all of your emergency contacts if necessary during your deployment.
  • When you return home, tell the important people in your life that you might need several days to recover so it is best not to expect too much from you during that recovery period.
  • Plan a special event together after you have recovered.

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Page last reviewed: April 1, 2020